President Vladimir Putin:
Mr President, colleagues and friends,
I am very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with you here in Jordan. This meeting with you today is a natural conclusion to all of our work during this visit to the Middle East, because no matter what the discussions with our partners during this working visit, we always began with and practically always ended with the Palestinian issue.
I know what a difficult time you have been having lately. We have been watching the situation in Palestine and the conflict that broke out within Palestinian society with grave concern. We are very pleased that the King of Saudi Arabia succeeded in bringing all the parties to the negotiating table and played a successful mediation role in helping you to reach an agreement.
We have met on many occasions now and are in regular contact with each other. I very much hope that these latest agreements will bring you closer to the goal you have set, namely, that of forming an effective government in Palestine. And I hope that the conditions will be created rapidly for lifting the blockade, and that the blockade will be lifted so that you can move on to the next step. The next step is that of a full-fledged settlement with Israel. For this to take place, it is essential that the agreements reached be respected within the Palestinian authority, in order to create the conditions for subsequent steps to achieve a settlement with Israel. In this respect, the return of the Israeli soldier captured earlier would be an important step.
Russia, as you know, is an active member of the quartet of international mediators. We will continue to work in this direction, making use of our special relations with the Arab countries and the people of Palestine.
Thank you very much, Mr President.
We are very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with you. Our last meeting took place in Sochi. This meeting is our fourth top-level meeting, yet another contact since you began your visit to Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan. This meeting is taking place at a very timely moment.
As you noted, several days ago, we reached an agreement in Mecca, under the patronage of Saudi Arabia, on calming the situation in order to form a national unity government. I think that this agreement marks a very important step, because it has returned us to the road forward. We therefore give this agreement great significance and have the utmost respect for the efforts the guardian of the two holy sites made to ensure that this agreement was reached.